Alejandra is part of the communal bank “Esperanza de Colombo” and resides in the city of San Vicente. For the past five years, Alejandra has prepared meals, main dishes, salads, and meats, and sells them outside in the streets and sometimes caters to office staff and store owners as clients in the centre of the city. Alejandra employs a woman who helps her sell the prepared meals. Alejandra also makes cakes, such as “kuchenes” a popular sweet cake introduced to Chile by the colonial Germans.
With this loan Alejandra plan to purchase disposable trays for her chicken and beef dishes. Alejandra would travel to Santiago to purchase these goods, as it is cheaper there. Alejandra’s husband accompanies her on these trips by car, as he is also a borrower of Fondo Esperanza and takes on construction contracts. Alejandra dreams of one day opening a store to sell roasted chicken adjacent to her house, so that she could also care for their two small children, a seven year old and newborn only seven days old.
Alejandra enjoys the ambiance of Kiva Partner Fondo Esperanza and working with her fellow group members and loan officer. She is also pleased with how easy the process to obtain a loan is with Fondo Esperanza. Alejandra´s saying is: “Fondo Esperanza fell from the sky to help me.”
San Vicente de Tagua Tagua is a commune zone in the center of Chile, belonging to the Region of Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, located on the banks of the Estero Zamorano River. San Vincente de Tagua Tagua's main source of income is based on the production of lemons, oranges, and avocados.
About Fondo Esperanza
Fondo Esperanza (FE) is a private non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurship by providing micro-credit and training to people living in poverty in well over 100 cities throughout Chile. By providing these services, FE aims to improve the living conditions of the entrepreneurs and their families. In 2010, FE provided loans to more than 41,000 entrepreneurs. It utilizes a communal banking model in which groups of 18 to 25 clients meet on regularly and guarantee each other’s loans. The members use their portion of the loan to create or expand their own businesses. In the group meetings, clients receive training though the FE Entrepreneurship School, which enhances clients’ personal and business skills and ability to work in groups.